Reflections

Reflections National Arts Contest

Students in Pre-K through grade 12 are invited to create theme-based artwork in the categories of dance choreography, film production, literature, musical composition, photography or visual artsMembership in Virginia PTA provides the opportunity to participate in the National PTA Reflections Arts Contest. This competition encourages students to explore the arts and express themselves by providing positive recognition for their artistic efforts. Since it was founded in 1969 by Mary Lou Anderson, millions of students have benefited from this program.

2024-2025 School Year Reflections Theme: “Accepting Imperfection….”

HOW IT WORKS

Students submit their completed work of art with an artist statement, to their local school PTA’s Reflections contest in the Fall!

  • Local PTAs celebrate winners at the school level, and then forward winning entries in each age division and art category to their City/County Council PTA.  If your school is not located in a Council, then your school PTA’s winning entries should be submitted directly to Virginia PTA for regional judging. 
  • Council PTAs select and submit their outstanding winning entries for each age division and art category to Virginia PTA. Council PTA’s hold Student Awards Celebrations in late winter/early spring.
  • Virginia PTA selects and submits the state’s winning entries to National PTA to compete against students from across the United States, and holds a Student Awards Celebration in March/April. 
  • National PTA selects and announces winners of the national-level contest in May. 

* If your school PTA hasn’t been sharing information about Reflections, reach out to your school PTA! They may need a volunteer to help organize the arts contest for your school community.  

NATIONAL PTA AWARDS
  • Merit Award: Bronze Medal; Certificate of Merit; Work featured in the virtual exhibition
  • Award of Excellence: $200 Young Artist Scholarship; Silver Medal; Certificate of Excellence; Work featured in the virtual exhibition
  • Outstanding Interpretation Award: $800 Young Artist Scholarship; Gold Medal; Certificate of Outstanding Interpretation; Work featured in the virtual exhibition; $200 Prize for Local PTA Unit

GRADE DIVISIONS

  • PRIMARY (PreK-Grade 2)
  • INTERMEDIATE (Grades 3-5)
  • MIDDLE SCHOOL (Grades 6-8)
  • HIGH SCHOOL (Grades 9-12)
  • ACCESSIBLE ARTS (All Grades)

ART CATEGORIES

  • DANCE CHOREOGRAPHY
  • FILM PRODUCTION
  • LITERATURE
  • MUSIC COMPOSITION
  • PHOTOGRAPHY
  • VISUAL ARTS

GET STARTED!

Identify a chairperson for your Local PTA Reflections Arts contest, and start planning how you will collect entries and celebrate students using the Local Leader Toolkit and resources linked here.

Please remember, your PTA will only advance the first place winner (Outstanding Interpretation) for each age division and art category, however, your PTA should also identify Award of Excellence (2nd place) and Award of Merit (3rd place) winners, and recognize and celebrate all students who participated.

Local Units who are within Council boundaries should submit first place entries for each age division and art category to their Council PTA. You can find your Council affiliation in your MemberHub/Givebacks under ‘Unit Data’.

Local Units that DO NOT have an active PTA Council in their county/city should submit first place entries in each age division and art category directly to Virginia PTA for a first round of regional judging.

2024-2025 Reflections Due Dates for Virginia
  • Aug 27th:  Virginia PTA Learn About Reflections Webinar REGISTER
  • Oct/Nov:   Students submit entries to local school PTA based on time-line set by school PTA
  • Dec 15th:   Local Unit first place entries for Council Judging are due to Council PTAs
  • Jan. 10th:  Local Unit first place entries for Regional (Non-Council) judging due to Virginia PTA
  • Jan 24th:   Council winners due to Virginia PTA 
  • Feb 20th:   Virginia PTA winners announced
  • Mar 22nd:  Virginia PTA Student Awards Celebration (Tentative)
  • May 2024:  National PTA Winners announced

Submit Your Unit’s Reflections Winners

All final entries sent to the Virginia PTA will be electronic.

Please label all entries with the following naming convention
Art. Division. SchoolPTA. StudentLastName
Example: Dance.Intermediate. KeystoneES. Gupta  

LOCAL UNIT SUBMISSION ENTRY FORM   (ONLY Local Units NOT IN A COUNCIL. Due Jan 10th)

COUNCIL SUBMISSION ENTRY FORM   |  COUNCIL EXCEL TEMPLATE (ONLY Council level entries. Due Jan 24th)

Reflections 2026-2027 Theme Contest

Nov. 6th – Theme entries due to Virginia PTA
Dec. 15th –  Virginia PTA announces Virginia’s winning theme entry
May. 2025 – National PTA announces winning theme (see past themes)

2024 Virginia PTA Winning THEME Entries Advanced to National

  • Announced Dec 15th!

Virginia PTA 2024-2025 Reflections Awards Celebration

Virginia PTA is excited to celebrate the artistic talents of students across the Commonwealth with an afternoon of creativity and celebration!

Date: TBD (Tentatively March 22, 2025)
Time: 1:00pm- 3:00pm (Doors open at 12:45pm)

Place: TBD

Guest Speaker: Virginia Secretary of Education, Aimee Guidera

Guests: Due to auditorium space constraints, student artists are allowed only 3 guests to attend the ceremony with them.

What to Expect: The celebration will include an art activity led by a professional artist and an awards presentation. All students will be called to the stage one-by-one to be recognized and have a photo opportunity receiving their award.

 

RSVP is required. All students being recognized have received an email invitation with the RSVP link. 

Past & Future Reflections Arts Contests

 

If you have questions please email Virginia PTA’s Reflections Chair at Reflections@vapta.org